Water  |  14 Jan 2021

Level 1 water restrictions have been introduced across Christchurch to ensure the Council can keep supplying a fair amount of water while having enough in reserve for fire-fighting.

From today, the use of hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems is permitted only on alternate days. No water can be used outdoors on any day between 3pm and 9pm.

Several consecutive days of hot weather are forecast for the city, with little rain predicted in the long-term forecast. This is expected to push up demand for water and put the city’s water supply network under extreme pressure.

“When we get back-to-back days of high temperatures, we struggle to get water through the network fast enough to meet peak demand,” says Council Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont.

“That means there’s a risk that we can’t keep supplying drinking water at a constant flow and pressure, which can create problems in the network. There’s also the risk that we won’t have enough water in reserve to fight fires if we need to.

“For these reasons, we’re introducing water restrictions from today so the city’s water demand lowers to a more manageable level, especially in the evenings, when we typically see the most extreme demand, mostly from garden sprinklers and irrigators.”

Under Level 1 restrictions, residents at odd-numbered addresses can water their gardens before 3pm or after 9pm on odd dates (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc), and residents at even-numbered addresses can water before 3pm or after 9pm on even dates.

Ms Beaumont says the Council is keeping a close watch on the weather and the city’s water use.

“We are monitoring the weather forecasts and the city’s water use on a daily basis. If we need to, we’ll move to a higher level of restrictions.”

Level 2 water restrictions were introduced last month in Akaroa, Duvauchelle and Takamatua on Banks Peninsula. That was because the streams that supply drinking water to those townships have been especially low this year due to much lower-than-average rainfall.